To celebrate International Women’s Day, we’re asking OMDers from across the country what this year’s theme, #EachForEqual, means to them.
First up, Natalie Widdup (Senior Manager, Marketing Intelligence) and Jacob Carrick (Account Manager, Team Armstrong) give their thoughts:
1. What does #EachForEqual mean to you?
NW: That everybody has a role to play in achieving gender equality. Gender equality is beneficial for both women and men as it will help challenge traditional gender roles whilst also combating toxic masculinity.
JC: #EachForEqual simply means that each and every one of us is responsible for bringing gender equality to the world we live in. To me, that’s about holding myself accountable for my own role in challenging stereotypes and shaping the future.
2. What small, achievable actions do you feel we can be doing on a daily basis to promote equality?
NW: Speaking up. Don’t be afraid of voicing your opinion or asking for what you want. Whether it be a pay rise, a promotion, recognition for the work you have done or a new job entirely. This isn’t just for women, men need to learn to speak up as well, to call out other men for poor behaviour.
JC: A great first step would be to stop buying products that use unhealthy gender stereotypes in their advertising. For those in media (or any other industry for that matter), if you attend a thought leadership event where a panel consists entirely of men, step up and ask why that’s the case. Most importantly, listen to the women around you.
3. How have you overcome any of your own thoughts and biases?
NW: I was taught from an early age that women can do anything and everything! Because of this, I have been lucky enough to know when and how to stand up for myself or to call out sexist behaviour. That said, I have learnt to be more confident in my ability, especially in a professional environment.
JC: I’ve aimed to overcome my own thoughts and biases by actually making a real, conscious effort to do so. In my own experience, I’ve found it’s not something that happens overnight, or by accident. By actively identifying those moments when you feel your bias engaging, you can stop those attitudes and realign them in a healthier direction. What helped me the most was reminding myself that it’s a process, not just a switch you could flick off.
4. Who is a role model in your life that leads by example in this space?
NW: Ronni Kahn – CEO and Founder of OzHarvest. She is one of the most passionate people I have had the pleasure of meeting and an absolute powerhouse in fighting food waste, by changing outdated legislation and being at the forefront of a worldwide movement.
JC: Tech journalist, Kara Swisher
5. What big dreams do you have for the world by 2030?
NW: Firstly, I hope to see equal pay for equal work. Australia’s full time gender pay gap is 13.9%, with women earning $242.90 per week less than men. Secondly, I hope by 2030 we are able to achieve workplace equality for women. Women make up around half of the population yet we only account for 29% of senior management roles. Whilst this is currently the highest on record, there is still a long way to go.
JC: By 2030, Australia should have equal gender representation in its parliament. Stronger legislation should be in place to help eliminate emotional and physical violence against women, with particular regard to the use of technology and social media. Hopefully we no longer use qualifying statements like “for a girl.”